The Key Elements of Great Health

Seeing a Psychologist and How to Choose the Right One

There are no less than 30 million Americans who are struggling with thoughts and emotions that seem uncontrollable, as per National Institute of Mental Health data. Problems, from stress to joblessness to divorce and more, can indeed feel crippling. But these are common issues human beings face, you may say. Is seeing a psychologist really necessary?

You should consider seeking psychological treatment if any of the following applies to you:

> You have a strong and prolonged feeling of sadness and helplessness that never gets better despite your or your friends’ and family’s efforts to make you feel better.

> Doing routinary tasks seems almost impossible – for instance, it’s hard for you to concentrate on your job, causing your performance to suffer.

> You worry irrationally and too much or feel that you are always nervous or on edge.

> You develop harmful habits, like excessive drinking, substance abuse, etc.

Choosing a Psychologist

This training includes completing a supervised clinical internship at a hospital or any organized medical setting, as well as post doctoral supervised experience for no less than one year. After all of these steps, they can set up an independent practice anywhere they want. This very combination of clinical internship and doctoral training is what makes psychologists different from other providers of mental health care.

Psychologists must also be licensed by the state or jurisdiction of their practice.
In most states, license renewals are possible for psychologists who constantly demonstrate competence and take up continuing education. Moreover, Americal Psychological Association (APA) members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics.

Asking Questions

When a psychologist is well-credentialed, your natural tendency is to think that he or she is automatically the one you need. Not always. You have to know a lot more, and to do that, you have to ask questions. So schedule a meeting with the psychologist you may be eyeing, ensuring you ask the following:

> How long have you been practicing as a psychologist?

> How much experience do you have with people who have problems similar to mine?

> Do you specialize in any particular areas, and if so, what are they?

> What treatments do you usually use, and is there proof that they work on the type of issue or problem I’m dealing with?

> What are the charges (often based on 45-50-minute sessions per visit)? What payment policies do you have? > What types of insurance will you accept?

Personal Chemistry

Finally, it is crucial that you and chosen psychologist are a match. After everything else checks out – competence, credentials, etc. – it should boil down to the psychologist’s personality and how it jives with yours. It’s hard, if not impossible, to have a productive relationship with someone you don’t even like having around.

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